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Guided Heritage Walks uncover Great Yarmouth's History

3 April 2017

A season of guided walks focusing on the rich cultural heritage of the Great Yarmouth borough is getting underway this month, with a range of exciting new walks added for 2017. Every year, Great Yarmouth Borough Council runs a programme of fascinating Guided Heritage Walks to beautiful historic buildings and other places of interest, led by fully-trained volunteer heritage guides.

Ghostly Goings On during heritage walk

27 March 2017

Body snatchers, witches and ghosts from Great Yarmouth’s past will figure in a special heritage walk around the town.
The guided Dastardly Deeds and Ghostly Goings On stroll will take a light-hearted look at famous and infamous characters, as well as intriguing events, from its past.
They include jailed 19th century body snatcher Thomas Smith, who would dig up recently-buried locals, and hide them in a flat off the Rows before taking them to a London surgeon by cart.
The guide will explain the mystery tapping following the burial of a mummified Egyptian princess found in a local school in 1845, and recall when a ghostly gardener cycled through the lock gates of the Minster as recently as 1963.

Exploring Belton's history

22 March 2017

A poignant tale links two important, and intertwined, strands of Belton’s past – the railways and market gardening. They will be recalled in the new walk being held on April 4, as part of the season of guided strolls exploring local history.

The walk – The Last Train from Belton - was researched by villager Sue Skoyles, who moved there in 1974, and was keen to learn more about its past. “People will be surprised about how much history there is here – and how much the railways changed the lives of local people,” she said.

Trains transformed a previously quiet rural village into a busy market gardening hub – by providing access to the lucrative markets in London. They also brought in trippers to visit the popular Pleasure Gardens. The line was closed on November 2 1959 despite local protests.

Tales from the tombstones

10 October 2016

A brave sailor killed by a notorious pirate, an orphan minstrel who busked across Canada, and men who created landmark buildings in the Great Yarmouth area are among the hundreds of people buried in the town’s churchyard.

And a special guided walk this month will bring their fascinating stories to life again.

Silver Darlings are hallmark of fishing heritage

22 March 2016

A small silver creature is swimming back into the hearts – and stomachs – of a seaside town where it once fed a fishing boom. The humble herring is woven into the history of Great Yarmouth, where millions of them were hauled ashore by a fleet of “drifter” boats that filled the harbour. By the early 20th century the fishing grounds off Great Yarmouth were the most productive in the world and the port was the most important in the country. That fleet is now down to a handful, but the fish – known as Silver Darlings – are again proving a popular, healthy dish that provides an authentic taste of the area's seafaring heritage.

Timelss lure of seafront snails and scenic railway

14 March 2016

They are the white knuckle seafront rides that unleash a rollercoaster of emotions and memories across the generations and their timeless fairground fun is also playing a key role in the future of a leading UK holiday resort. A mile along the golden sands the wooden rollercoaster towering above the Pleasure Beach goes back even further, to 1932, when it moved lock stock and barrel from a Paris exhibition. The rides are also an important part of the modern-day mix at Great Yarmouth, helping to attract return visitors and first-timers alike.

Explore heritage open days in the borough of Great Yarmouth

1 September 2015

Great Yarmouth Heritage Open Days 10 to 13 September 2015 host an exciting programme of free tours and drop in events in the Borough of Great Yarmouth during Heritage Open Days weekend, Thursday 10 to Sunday 13 September.